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In Colorado I was on the permanent mail-in ballot list. Several weeks before election day, I would receive my ballot in the mail without having to do anything special for it, then peruse it at my leisure and mail it back, no muss, no fuss.

Technically, they have mail-in ballots in Texas. But only if you are disabled or elderly, basically. I am thankful to not currently be either of those.

In Colorado, the other annual pre-voting day ritual I enjoyed was receiving the state blue book. This lovely pamphlet translates all the proposed amendments into plain English, provides a dry for and against argument for each, and also estimates fiscal impacts. It also told you if judges were recommended for retention. I loved that little blue book and its cheap newsprint paper.

As far as I can tell, Texas doesn’t have those either. I had no idea how spoiled I was, growing up in Colorado.

Of course, I’m still lucky and spoiled here in Texas, to the extent that (supposedly) I’m not going to have any problems with the new voter ID law. I have multiple forms of approved IDs and I didn’t change my name when I got married (not that I did that in Texas anyway). But a lot of people aren’t nearly so lucky as me. It just makes me furious whenever anyone makes it harder to vote.

Anyway, I’ll attempt to find the actual physical voting place either during lunch or after work. I hope it’s right, since I looked it up in the Harris county website. You’re supposed to get the info from http://votetexas.gov but that site has been timing out all morning so…yay?

Enjoy your little blue books and your mail-in ballots, Colorado. Throw the pages of non-partisan explanations of legalese up in the air and laugh mockingly as they flutter down around you. You have no idea how good you’ve got it.

(I am well aware there are many places in the rest of the world where people are literally dying to only be as inconvenienced as I will be today. I wish they had our problems in place of their own, I truly do.)

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
rjw76
Nov. 5th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
votetexas.gov is working for me; if it hasn't come back up for you I will poke it if you like. Ironic if it *is* working in the UK but not the US...
katsudon
Nov. 6th, 2013 05:40 am (UTC)
Thankfully it came back sometime in the afternoon, but thank you! :)
danielmedic
Nov. 6th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
I've always known we were pretty lucky in Colorado, certainly compared to a lot of the horror stories I've heard from other states. OTOH, nothing was easier than voting in North Dakota when I lived there. No mail-in ballots, but you didn't have to register, either: show up at the polling place with any one of (a) an ID showing your address, (b) a couple of pieces of mail addressed to you, or (c) a neighbor who would vouch that you were eligible to vote, and into the booth you went. Very decent and northern plains it was, yah sher.

Given the recent takeover of ND politics by right-wing crazies, I suspect it doesn't work that way any more.
katsudon
Nov. 6th, 2013 05:40 am (UTC)
Wow, that's pretty impressive. I wouldn't be surprised if North Dakota had changed, though it's not in any danger of becoming a swing state any time soon...
danielmedic
Nov. 8th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)
When I was there, it actually was considered a swing state--Republican-leaning to be sure, but within reach for Democrats. To some degree it still is, as witnessed by the Senatorial victory of Heidi Heitkamp, of whom I have fond memories as state AG. But it's definitely a lot redder than it used to be. Lots of people living in small cities and medium-sized towns, working office jobs, who like to think of themselves as good salt-of-the-earth rural farming folk, and of course being conservative in every sense of the word is part of that self-image. Their grandparents, actual farmers, were often radicals and nigh-socialists, but they prefer not to talk about that part.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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